Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 145–150 | Cite as

Automatic control of the specific growth rate in fed-batch cultivation processes based on an exhaust gas analysis

  • D. Levisauskas
  • R. Simutis
  • D. Borvitz
  • A. Lübbert


A new simple strategy for a reliable and robust automatic control of the specific growth rate in fed-batch cultivation processes is presented. Its advantages over model supported control is that the algorithm only needs a minimum of information about the process. Moreover, it is independent of the specific microorganism, the cultivation phase and the biomass level. Also, only a minimum of soft- and hardware is required. Hence, the approach is attractive for industrial production processes that do not have specialized instrumentation. Its accuracy is comparable with model supported control and thus sufficient for most industrial applications. Simulations and experimental tests of the technique performed for the example of a fed-batch cultivation of E. coli demonstrate a good controller performance for various cultivation conditions and process disturbances. Preferred applications will be production systems where the productivity is critically dependent on the growth rate, e.g. in recombinant protein or antibiotic productions.


Biomass Recombinant Protein Automatic Control Specific Growth Rate Simple Strategy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Symbols

D 1/h

dilution rate

OUR g/h

oxygen uptake rate

CER g/h

carbon dioxide evolution rate

X g


x g/l

biomass concentration

μ l/h

specific growth rate


desired value of specific growth rate

r l/h

feed-back signal

qs g/(gh)

specific substrate consumption rate

αi g/g

yield coefficient for consumption or production

βi, g/(gh)

specific maintenance rate

V l


F l/h

feeding rate

s g/l

substrate concentration

sF g/l

substrate concentration in feed

T1..4 h

time constants of control channel objects

TF h

time constant of exponential filter

τ h

time delay of the control channel


gain coefficients of control channel objects


small deviations of variables


Laplace transform operator


transfer functions of control channel

μmax, KS, KI, yxs, m

process model parameter

Kc, Ti, Td

PID controller parameter


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Levisauskas
    • 1
  • R. Simutis
    • 1
  • D. Borvitz
    • 1
  • A. Lübbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Technische ChemieUniversität HannoverHannoverGermany

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